The following is written by Jesse Burns, LWVNJ Director of Communications.
Recently I had the pleasure of joining the League of Women Voters of Ocean County as they honored three professionals whose work has benefited the environment. The “Pearl Schwartz Environmental Awards” is in memory of the passionate and committed work of League member Pearl Schwartz who passed away in 2010.
The reception was full of people who greatly admired both the work of Pearl and the work of the award recipients. League member Sandy Potaski speaking of Pearl said “she best exemplified all that the League of Women Voters is about”. Sandy went on to mention that Pearl was an outspoken voice in Ocean County, attending Freeholder board meeting for over 20 years, registering voters, and encouraging residents to speak out and get involved.
It was Pearl’s passion for and commitment to the environment that led the League of Women Voters of Ocean County to honor her memory with this award ceremony. The award recipients were William deCamp, Jr., Save Barnegat Bay, Dr. Michael Kennish, Rutgers University, and Kirk Moore, Asbury Park Press.
William deCamp, Jr. is the chairman of Save Barnegat Bay, as well as a member of the League of Women Voters of New Jersey. His work with the non-profit Save Barnegat Bay has been instrumental in slowing the over development that threatens the bay.
Dr. Michael Kennish is a research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Science at Rutgers University and an expert on the ecology of Barnegat Bay. He is the author of many books and papers and his scientific data and expertise has led to legislation and action to conserve the bay.
Kirk Moore is a longtime environmental reporter with the Asbury Park Press. His week long series “Barnegat Bay Under Stress” was award winning and is credited with raising public awareness of the issues facing the bay.
As each of these deserving recipients spoke of their own work, as well as the work of the League, I could feel the audience becoming energized and inspired. I knew Pearl would be proud.